It was when Gunasekhar was yet to make a mark in the Commercial Arena of Telugu Cinema. He proved himself to be a director of class with Sogasu Chooda Tarama and his next film was with Megastar Chiranjeevi! That film is none other than Choodalani Undhi starring Chiranjeevi, Soundarya and Anjala Jhaveri in the lead. Though the film looks like a typical revenge drama in the first look, the never before seen Kolkata backdrop, beautiful portrayal of songs, and excellent performances made this film one of the best in Chiranejevi’s career. It became a turning point for Gunasekhar as a director with artistic thought and commercial touch.
The film begins with Ramakrishna (Chiranjeevi) arriving at Kolkata but unaware of where to find a Telugu Person to get him an accommodation. After few futile attempts to understand where he can get a rented house, and funny interactions with Bengali people, he decides to sing a Telugu Song so that somebody who understands it would help him out. Quite cinematically, by the end of the song he meets a Telugu person and he tells him about an area where he can get accommodation. The place is a huge apartment complex for which Brahmanandam and M.S.Narayana are the owners. They tell Ramakrishna about one portion where the tenant Padmavathi (Soundarya)is neither paying the rent nor vacating the place. The timid owners even request Ramakrishna if he manages to vacate her, the portion will be his. However, Ramakrishna and Padmavathi come to an understanding and become friends in funny circumstances. But the story suddenly turns serious when a group of goons hit Ramakrishna very badly and the story drifts to the flashback of why Ramakrishna arrives to Kolkata.
Ramakrishna is a mechanic by profession in Hyderabad, and he falls in love with Priya (Anjala Jhaveri) at a railway station. Priya immediately finds trust in Ramakrishna and asks him to take her away to some safe place as she finds threat from her father Mahendra (Prakash Raj)’s underworld life. Ramakrishna and Priya get stuck in a forest and even get married later. They have a sweet son and when things are very peaceful, Priya’s father kidnaps her and the son. Priya dies in serious circumstances and Ramakrishna’s son is with her father. Rest of the story is about how Ramakrishna gets back his son and takes revenge.
Chiranjeevi is fantastic as the laid back guy in the initial scenes and the person filled with revenge later. His brilliant chemistry with Soundarya was once again proved in this film. They look adorable on screen and there is never a dull moment with their presence. Soundarya is graceful as ever in the role of Padmavathi- an innocent girl who leaves her town in the name of her lover Vasu. Her dressing, acting skills, and amazing grace became one of the assets for the film. Anjala Jhaveri is quite good as the lover, and wife of Chiranjeevi and she delivers a neat performance. Prakash Raj is perfect as the evil father, and with this film a great character like him was established in Telugu Cinema. Brahmanandam, M.S.Narayana, and the kid who played the role of Lead Pair’s son were brilliant as well.
The best part of the film is cinematography and sets. Chota K Naidu did a wonderful job in the cinematography department and the sets by Thota Tharani- especially of the old Calcutta apartments is worth to admire. Music by Mani Sharma is fantastic, and adds tremendous feel to the film with his super re-recording skills and songs. Yamaha Nagari, Ramma Chilakamma, Simbale, Oh Mariya- almost every song became an instant hit. Guna Sekhar’s direction is excellent and he did job like an experienced director with just the second film.
Cast and Crew:
Priya- Anjala Jhaveri
Mahendra- Prakash Raj
Apartment Owners- Brahmanandam and M.S.Narayana
Writers- Gunasekhar and Diwakar Babu
Cinematography- Chota K Naidu
Sets- Thota Tharani
Music- Mani Sharma
Producer- Ashwini Dutt
Banner- Vyjayanthi Movies
Release Date-27th August 1998
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